July 10, 2021

best money saving apps

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Every time you spend with your card, there is a small percentage of change left over. That's money that could be put into your savings or used to pay for other bills!

Some apps round up spare change and save it automatically every time you spend. Putting it to one side for a rainy day fund or even investing on your behalf.

In this article, we will find out the apps that round up spare change in the UK. Including bank accounts that round up and apps that round up purchases.

How do apps that round up spare change work exactly?

You might not think about keeping track of all those little pennies at the end of each day, but they add up over time. It's easy to forget about them when we're so focused on more significant numbers, but we still want to save up for the things we want or need, right?

Savings apps can help you reach your savings goals. Some will automatically round up your purchases to the nearest pound and save. You don't have to do anything else, use your card in the usual way.

Other apps even use artificial intelligence technology and save for you based on how much you can afford based on your spending habits.

There are two options to consider when looking for a savings app:

Banks that have added functionality to your debit card

You can choose to sign up for one of our picks, or you may find your existing bank has this option. They don't usually work on what you can afford to save. Instead, the functionality is rounding up your spending to the nearest pound.

A great thing to mention about using your bank is that the financial conduct authority most likely protects your money.

Savings Apps to connect to your existing bank 

These apps used what's called open banking technology, and they link up with your bank. These apps can access current account and credit card information to calculate how much you can afford to save.

They help you form a savings habit by doing the work for you. Many uses AI to work how much you can afford to save.

How is your money protected?

Your money is important to you. It's only natural that anyone looking for a safe place to store their funds would be inclined towards UK regulated banks such as Barclays and Starling.

With the FSCS protection (financial services compensation scheme) of up to £85,000 per account holder if they are ever financially compromised by any institution or service provider - this sounds like quite an investment!

Some of the best apps for on-the-go saving also have FSCS coverage, but others don't. 

Instead, many autosaving apps have an 'electronic money' licence which means they're held in a bank account separate from their operating cash. This is generally with one of the big banks such as Barclays or NatWest.

Should your digital bank go bust, you can rest assured knowing your funds are protected because it's being stored in a different account than theirs would be!

High-street banks round up savings

As mentioned, some traditional banks also offer services to help you save easier.

First Direct accounts also allow for sweeping the remaining money in a nominated First direct savings account when the date specified.

HSBC Connected Money app allows you to transfer money into your savings plan directly.This account will give you the choice of where to put your money, but it must always be the same account of the same provider. For additional information, visit BankApp's site or bank website.

Lloyds Save the change

Lloyds re-arranges the value with its nearest pounds and transfers its balance to your savings account. TSB offers the exact savings program if it holds a current and savings with a bank. The account will round up the pennies on purchases and put them into savings of your choice. It's as easy as opening a Lloyds bank current Account, linking it to the app with your card details then making any purchase.

App-based banking: Our Top picks

Starling Bank and Monzo offer apps available for their current accounts. You may create different savings pots (Monzo) or saving spaces (Starling) apart from your available balance. These can be used for various purposes – holidays or a day out, meals and so on.

Once you set up your pots, you can increase purchases to the nearest pounds, which can be paid automatically to your pot.



Starling - Best for Nearest Pound Saving

Starling current account is a great option to round up your change because it offers an advanced round-up.

Advanced round up means you can multiply the amount you want, rounding up to 10x every time you use your debit card. The money you round up to 10x will never expire. You can fund your savings when it suits you, not just once a month.

Its also easy to see your spending habits through the categorisation features in the app

Related article: Starling bank review

Staring bank overview
  • You can track your money and see any fees charged in the app.
  • Set Savings goals
  • Earn interest on your balance 0.05%



Monzo - best for spending categories feature

Monzo is a mobile money current account which means you can put money in your pot. Savings are automatically rounded up, and the change goes to your savings pots instead of other purchases.

Like Starling, it's free and gets fantastic customer reviews. 

Monzo also offers an advanced round-up but charge an extra £5 a month.

Related Article: Monzo Vs Starling

Best free banking apps to help you build savings

The apps analyse your habits in spending and automatically allocate some of that money in their algorithms. If it's the case with all the following app's your money should be saved on an app's account, not your bank. 

An app that connects to your existing bank account will help keep you saved at your bank account.

Autosaving apps use clever technology to find if you have what it takes to save money. You want to make a transfer from your bank account to a virtual savings account. The idea in this approach is to accumulate money to start saving but not noticing where it goes. We know everything, so please pick your top picks.

(These smartphone apps connect to your existing bank account)

meet cleo

Related Article: Cleo App Review


Cleo is an app that automatically saves money. It also tells you how much money is in your savings account and the balance daily, weekly and monthly, so you can see where money has been saved.

Cleo helps to save money by giving you advice and tips about saving money, such as shopping around for service providers like energy companies.

Cleo has an app for both iOS and Android. You can also add money to your savings pot in a few clicks on their website without downloading the app.

It's free to download.



Plum is a money-saving app. Every few days, Plum does the maths and transfers the perfect amount from your bank account. Little by little, it adds up.

Plum gives you a real-time view of your daily spend, earn interest on your money until you need it, and never pay more than you need to on household bills. 

Plum is free to download on iOS and Android and has various plans but you can use it for free. 

For more information see Plum App Review

moneybox round up app

Money box

Money box you can start by saving with just £1, Choose from a range of savings or investment accounts. It works by Round up your everyday purchases to the nearest pound. You’ll be amazed to see how it adds up!

See Moneybox Review for more information.

What is the best round-up app? Conclusion

We've all heard of the phrase "the little things add up." But often, we don't think about what those minor changes mean for our financial future. Until it's too late and we find ourselves in debt or unable to retire when planned because we didn't save enough money regularly throughout life. 

If you're looking for an easy way to start saving more without thinking about it, rounding up your purchases could be just the thing! The banks and apps listed in this article could help you effortlessly save.

The best app depends on your individual goals and needs all of the apps listed in this article offer great benefits but pick the right one for you. 

What do you think is round-up saving for you? Let me know in the comments below.

About the author 

Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth is a passionate advocate for financial freedom. She is the founder of MeMoreMoney, and a featured Personal Finance expert in GO Banking Rates and Yahoo! Finance. Mary loves to make money simple and understandable for everyone. Her goal is to help people make simple changes so that they have more money to live the way they want.

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